A PINA Webinar led by Zev Friedman
Mutual Aid as an Organizing Strategy
for PINA Hubs and other Co-Operative Economies
How Many Sessions?
90 Minutes Each
September 19th & 26th
October 3rd & 24th
8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific Time
PINA Members: $30
PINA Diplomates: $20
In this webinar, we’ll review the heritage of mutual aid in the US and internationally, then work through an emerging pattern language for mutual aid to see how it applies to a wide range of projects that can generate economic self-governance. A particular juicy area for exploration is how regional mutual aid initiatives might form the basis for PINA hubs. By meeting many immediate human needs in a way that generates surplus for distribution (FairShare), these economic tools can help us connect small and local work with transcendent and collective aims, resolving a conflict that often hobbles our efforts for autonomy. A goal for the course is for each participant to focus the mutual aid lens on one clear and significant new design idea which would begin economic transformation in their career and life.
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A permaculture educator and designer for 13 years, Zev Friedman lives and works at Earthaven Ecovillage. He founded and directs Co-operate WNC, a mutual aid initiative supporting regional scale permaculture economies in the mountains of western North Carolina. Co-operate WNC uses economic tools such as savings pools, credit unions, time banking, and others to support a regional network of physical community centers which provide human services including healthcare, childcare, and food access, while also serving as resource hubs for climate resilience and regenerative land use.
The Co-operate WNC team are inspired by many historical mentors including The Grange, Via Campesina, the Zapatistas, the Federation of Southern Co-operatives, mutualistas, and ZTOS in the Warsaw Ghetto. Through Mutual Aid Societies our diverse ancestors pooled their resources, exerted their powers of self-determination, and nurtured the hopeful future they imagined. They fought fascism with co-operation, and their lineages survived. Please visit www.wnc-mutual-aid.org for more background.
Digging up Mollison’s Chapter 14 from the dusty basement of “permaculture visions that didn’t sell briskly at Whole Foods,” this webinar will focus on a major strategy for overcoming structural economic and social barriers that prevent permaculture from making the deep transformations we seek. We’re talking about the ancient economic and cultural patterns Peter Kropotkin described in 1890 as “mutual aid.” On the basis of mutual aid, and collaborating at a key level of scale—larger than village, smaller than state—groups of our ancestors (across most cultures) have found power in the presence of hostile and oppressive conditions, as they pooled resources to manage large scale territories (see Italian farming co-operative history) and set long-term positive directions for their communities.
Sponsored by PINA, the webinar will be broadcast live on September 19th, 26th, October 3rd, and Oct. 24th – four Thursdays this fall – in 90-minute sessions that build on each other. Participants will be able to interact with the presenter, and will have access to the recorded material to review or to access missed sessions.
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